Mwangi Wa Iria defends primaries register in Murang'a

Thursday May 18 2017

Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria seen in this earlier photo as he took his oath of office. He has called for the elevation of Murang’a University College (MRUC) into a fully-fledged university, saying his county was capable of hosting such institutions. PHOTO/FILE

Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria, who has defended the voters roll used in the primaries. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By WANJOHI GITHAE
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Murang'a Governor Mwangi wa Iria now says if an appeal by his rival Jamleck Kamau is allowed by the Political Parties Disputes Tribunal, it will effectively affect all positions that the Jubilee Party filled through nominations.

Mr Kamau wants the tribunal to order fresh elections on the grounds that Jubilee did not use the correct register.

119,838 VOTERS

He says the Jubilee register had only 119,838 voters and that is what should have been used to conduct the nominations.

In his submissions to the tribunal, Mr Wa Iria said the party used the correct register and therefore the case should be dismissed.

“The party itself has submitted on oath the register that was used to conduct nominations in Murang’a County with 514,725 members… applied not just to the gubernatorial position but all other elective positions, including for the women representative and senator,” argues the governor.

Earlier in the week, Mr Kamau obtained orders from the tribunal directing the party not to forward Mr Wa Iria’s name to Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission pending the determination of the appeal.

COMPLAINT

Mr Kamau had lost in his first petition before the Jubilee Party Appeals Board.

Mr Wa Iria, in his replying affidavit, also states that the request on the voters register was not one of the complaints in the original petition to the Jubilee appeals tribunal.

“It is also strange that during the first nomination held on 21st April 2017 before it was cancelled by the party due to logistical challenges and a repeat ordered for 26th April 2017, the same register was used yet Mr Kamau never raised any complaint with the party or at all,” notes the governor.

He added that not even Mr Kamau’s agents raised an issue with the register.

STUFFING

The governor also accuses Mr Kamau of flouting the tribunal's rules by not swearing an affidavit to support his case.

The affidavit calling for the results to be cancelled is sworn by one Maina Gatundu, who is also a complainant in the appeal.

Mr Kamau also alleges that there were widespread malpractices, including ballot stuffing and voter bribery.

Mr Wa Iria garnered 205,941 votes in the nominations against Mr Kamau's 118,274.

87,274 GAP

“I attained in excess of 87,274 votes to that of Jamleck Kamau and it has not been shown that the alleged malpractices would have had the effect of altering the will of the people or the final outcome of the nominations exercise,” Mr Wa Iria says.

“The register used by the party applied to all elective positions within Murang’a and the voting pattern for the gubernatorial position also mirrors that of the woman representative as shown by the party.”

Mr Wa Iria further says that Mr Kamau’s appeal was filed outside the stipulated time.

The tribunal is set to issue a ruling tomorrow afternoon.